Sydney. Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison conceded defeat in an election on Saturday as the opposition Labor Party was poised to end nearly a decade of Conservative rule, possibly backed by independents fighting for greener policies.
Partial results showed that although Labor made small gains, Morrison’s national liberal coalition was punished by voters in Western Australia and in wealthy urban areas.
The Greens and a group of so-called “teal independents” who championed integrity, gender equality and the fight against climate change have done well, drawing on voter anger at the inaction in the face of global warming after some of Australia’s worst floods and fires.
It looks like the new parliament will be far less skeptical of the climate than the pro-coal Morrison government.
“Tonight I spoke with opposition leader and incoming prime minister, Anthony Albanese. I congratulated him on his election victory tonight,” Morrison said, adding that he is stepping down as his party’s leadership.
Albanese, addressing his supporters, said he wanted to unite the country.
“I think people want to come together, look for our common interest, and look to that sense of common purpose. I think people are tired of being divided, and what they want is to unite as a nation and I intend to lead that.”
In the results obtained so far, Labor has not yet reached 76 of the 151 seats in the House of Representatives, which are required to form a government on its own. Final results may take time as a record number of mail votes are counted.
With 55 per cent of the votes counted, Labor took 72 seats and Morrison’s coalition 52. Independents and Greens took 11 seats, according to an Australian Broadcasting Corporation projection.
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